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Benefits - Housing, Pension credits etc

(16 Posts)
Helski Mon 19-Feb-18 16:41:50

Posting here for traffic. I have asked before re housing for my 71 year old sister in law. I keep going around in circles. So basically she has to find somewhere new to live. I have found her a couple of little 'retirement flats' to look at tomorrow. My worry is that although she has a little bit of savings and her pension, she would not be able to afford either of these flats without support.
If she takes the flat will she be able to claim housing benefit etc straight away? She's been staying with family for the last 15 years and not officially paying rent so has no rights as such under her local authority.
Can anyone help?
Thank you so much.

kittylester Mon 19-Feb-18 16:52:15

Look at the AgeUK website - there is loads of information there.

M0nica Mon 19-Feb-18 17:10:15

Also talk to your local Age UK (used to be Age Concern). Your local branch will run a Help and Information line and I am sure their telephone number will be in the phone book and online.

Another source of help is the local Citizens' Advice Bureau (CAB), although you may need to make an appointment to see them. Again their number will be in the phone book, plus online

Smithy Mon 19-Feb-18 18:03:22

It will depend how much savings she has whether she gets housing benefit, council tax rebate etc. If you do not want to check on line, your civic centre will have a dept that covers those benefits and will advise what the limits are.

vampirequeen Mon 19-Feb-18 20:33:24

Contact the local council. They'll be able to advise you about Housing Benefit. Just because she hasn't been paying rent for the last 15 years doesn't mean she won't qualify. It's worked out on income and savings. She will automatically be entitled to a 25% reduction in the Council Tax if she is going to be living alone.

wot Mon 19-Feb-18 23:13:58

If she gets Pension Credit, she probably won't have to pay any Council Tax. There may be a limit the Housing Benefit will pay for the rent.

Helski Tue 20-Feb-18 06:58:49

Thank you all for your replies. I have been to Age UK, they won't answer housing queries, they sent us to CAB, the lady there got the wrong end of the stick and told us there was an 8 year wait for council housing, which isn't what we're after. Anyway, we're viewing a couple of places today, and hope to get the ball rolling. It's all very confusing. Especially when I've entered the figures into three different benefit calculators and they all come up with something different.....
Hopefully, it will all work out.
Thanks again.

alchemilla Tue 20-Feb-18 13:40:35

Go back to the CAB office and explain it all over again. Go back to Age UK if your visits pay off and say you're not asking about housing queries but benefits.

jenpax Tue 20-Feb-18 13:55:01

Go to Turn2us website there is a benefit check there very easy to use. Her entitlement to housing benefit is assessed on her income and it does not matter if she has never claimed before. If she is on guarantee pension credit she will be entitled to maximum eligible rent as this is a passporting benefit but if she is only receiving her pension she will be means tested. Also make sure that she only rents a property appropriate to her household ie if living alone that it’s a one bed roomed flat and that her rent is within the local area housing allowance the Turn2us will be able to work this out if you put in the proposed rent and her local authority. She will need the income details to make the calculation

jenpax Tue 20-Feb-18 13:56:50

Also your question to CItizens advice is a benefit one NOT a housing one make sure you ask them to give benefit advice if you call again

OldMeg Tue 20-Feb-18 14:55:37

I don’t know what Age UK do do. They’re pretty useless all round o IMO. I’ve tried them on several occasions and got nothing,

GracesGranMK2 Tue 20-Feb-18 15:08:55

Interesting OldMeg, I had the same feeling about them.

Helski Tue 20-Feb-18 15:49:49

So the good news is that the local council has given us some definitive advice re housing benefits and it looks as though my SIL can manage - now it's just a case of finding a nice place..... Thanks, all of you, for your responses. It's hard to know where to turn when learning a new 'ology!

Cold Tue 20-Feb-18 16:03:03

Shelter are supposed to give good advice on housing issues - they have a helpline

Helski Tue 13-Mar-18 10:14:06

I thought I'd give you a quick update. So we found a retirement flat for my SIL, I managed to negotiate the rent down a little bit. She is entitled to housing benefit, pension credit and help with her council tax. Also free NHS dentistry. She moves in at the end of this month.
Once we have her signed tenancy agreement we go to the local council with her National Insurance

GillT57 Tue 13-Mar-18 10:27:31

well done helski, thanks for the update, and hope your SiL is very happy in her new home!